When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s we didn’t have electronic games or the video games the kids have now. We did however have a lot of games that we liked to play. Most of us didn’t have all of the ones I will list but we had some so we shared them with friends.
One of my favorites was the pickup sticks; they were fun to see how many you could get before you disturbed the pile. If you moved any of the other sticks then your turn was over was over. Most girls loved to play pick up sticks and the other favorite past time at least for me was jacks.
Jacks had different size balls that made it harder to play when you weren’t used to the bigger or smaller one. Sometime in the mid to late 50’s there was a jack’s competition in Greensburg at the school and I was in the final round but didn’t win.
Most kids at one time or another had the paddle ball that we played with. But they didn’t last very long and the rubber band got weak or just broke. If it broke when you were using it the ball would fly away and was not always easy to find. If you were in the house it would usually hit something that was breakable. Then it became the paddle and was used for a new purpose by your parents.
I had a slinky at one point but we didn’t have any stairs in the house at the time so it was a boring toy for me. Wasn’t much you could do with it without stairs to let it run down. Even if you did have stairs; after a couple of times of letting it run down the stairs the thrill was gone.
Everyone loved the Cootie game. The object was to be the first one to get your cootie put together. You must thrown dice or something to tell you what piece you could get to add to the cootie. It was one of those games that always seemed to be missing pieces when you went to play. There must have been a cootie gremlin that stole them in the night.
Silly Putty was a lot of fun and the best part was the fact that you could push it down on a comic strip or newspaper article and it would pick up the image, then when you rolled it up it would just absorb the ink into the putty. But if you did that very many times it would change the color of the putty. We were pretty easy to entertain if that was the definition of fun.
The next game was for the boys; at least most girls that I knew didn’t play marbles. The object was to hit and remove the other guy’s marbles from the circle. If the player knocked out the other guys marble it was a point for him or in a game of keepers, then he owned the marble he knocked out of the ring. They could also lose their tolley, the larger marble they used to hit the others with.
I had an Etch-Sketch but like most kids I never was good at it, most were lucky to draw a box and never mastered a circle. Very few can draw pictures with it. It was like the rubbiks cube to me; all it did was get me irritated.
I had a set of Lincoln Logs, but it was more a game for the boys I think. I had a set of Tinker Toys and loved them and all the unlimited variations you could do with them. But they sure made a mess when you were playing with them, they were all over the place. I think every piece in that box was round or would roll away when loose from the box.
AAHH! The Hula Hoop. They came along right after I started first grade in the fall of 1957. It was made for the first time in 1958 out of plastic. I loved the hula hoop and was good at maneuvering it around and up and down my body from the ankles to the neck and onto the arms and back again. I was amazed that some kids couldn’t get it to go even around the waist. Wonder if I could still do it?
PlayDoh was a fun modeling clay substitute. I loved the Play Doh and like so many kids of our era, liked the salty taste of it. I think we ate a lot of it when we played with it. We had a lot of fun with it in school.
So the question is, especially if you graduated in the 60’s, how many of these toys of the 1950’s do you remember? I remember them all and loved most of them. To contact Sandy: [email protected]